LAREDO, Texas – The General Services Administration’s Greater Southwest Region and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo Port of Entry are advising that effective April 29, all northbound vehicular traffic from Gateway to the Americas Bridge will be rerouted to Lincoln-Juarez Bridge and Colombia-Solidarity Bridge. Northbound pedestrian, bicycle traffic and southbound vehicular flow will continue as normal. The temporary reroute is expected to last 16 months.
“CBP is working in close coordination with our GSA partners to advise the traveling public of this important but temporary reroute of northbound Bridge I vehicular traffic,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “We will monitor the traffic on a continual basis, ensure all available lanes are open as needed and also strongly encourage travelers to obtain radiofrequency enabled identification (RFID) entry documents to use Ready lanes and enroll in trusted traveler programs.”
Slated to commence at the end of April 29 at midnight, the temporary rerouting of northbound vehicular traffic at Gateway to the Americas Bridge allows GSA to begin the next stage in a $26.8 million project to refurbish, improve and upgrade the 70-year-old port infrastructure at the bridge, including reconfiguration of the vehicular lanes and the historic interior of the administration building, demolishing and replacing the secondary inspection canopy, adding a permanent dedicated bicycle inspection lane and increasing the number of permanent pedestrian processing lanes from four to 14. During this stage, which is projected to last approximately 16 months, northbound vehicular traffic will be directed to Lincoln-Juarez Bridge and Colombia-Solidarity Bridge. City of Nuevo Laredo stakeholder partners will assist with banners and signage advising of the traffic reroute.
Northbound pedestrian, bicycle traffic and southbound vehicular traffic will continue to flow as normal. Northbound pedestrian traffic will also shift to a temporary processing facility at the El Portal Outlet Mall at a date in the near future. More information on that change will be forthcoming.
In anticipation of the vehicular traffic shift, CBP is actively encouraging frequent cross border travelers to obtain RFID technology-enabled entry documents to use Ready Lanes or to consider enrolling in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program, which provides a dedicated lane for the exclusive use of SENTRI members.
Ready Lanes provide expedited processing through readers that capture information from RFID-enabled entry documents such as newer versions of the laser visa, resident alien and passport cards.
Processing in Ready Lanes is 20 percent faster than normal lanes and provide a time savings of up to 20 seconds per vehicle. Those who have renewed their entry documents within the last 24 months already have RFID-enabled documents and may not know it.
For more information regarding enrollment in trusted traveler programs such as SENTRI or Global Entry, please consult the following link.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.